Graduate Program in Digital Futures launch 2013

Trevor Haldenby

Graduate Program in Digital Futures

Overview
Program
Eligibility
How To Apply
Alumni

OCAD University the CFC Media Lab have partnered to launch a new and innovative Graduate Program in Digital Futures, with a part-time Graduate Diploma and full-time Master's Degrees (MA, MDes and MFA).

This unique, practice-based graduate program is aimed at future innovators, leaders and creators of digital media and new technologies. It responds to the increasingly important and sophisticated role of digital technology as a catalyst for integrating societal, cultural and economic change. Students in the program essentially participate in and prepare for Renaissance 2.0 — the global digital revolution that fuses together disruptive technology and new thought leadership. This revolution is catalyzing our innovation in digital applications, products, media content, practices and services. The program is situated within the Digital Futures Initiative (DFI) at OCAD University, a set of cross-disciplinary programs in practice-based research and innovation in digital media and emergent technologies.

Program

IMPORTANT DATES

The application deadline for entry into the Fall 2014 cohort closed on August 1, 2014.


CURRICULUM

MASTER'S IN DIGITAL FUTURES

The Master's in Digital Futures is available as a two-year full-time program. With its framework of critical thinking and practice, business and innovation studies, computation and computer science, and contemporary and emerging digital methodologies, the Master’s in Digital Futures will develop practice-based and scholarly research in technologically advanced design, art and digital media.

This is a full-time 48-credit program comprised of:

  • Core courses in digital methods, research, theory and practice
  • Foundational courses in computation, business creation, innovation and leadership
  • An intensive digital project and prototyping course
  • Individual research and creation overseen by a principal advisor and supervisory committee
  • Summer internship or study abroad
  • Elective choices
  • A creative digital thesis project and supporting paper (MFA and MDes) or a written thesis and minor supporting creative project (MA)

The outcomes of the chosen degree are distinctive, with a focus on scholarly practice-based research creation with a supporting thesis in the MDes/MFA, and the scholarly research thesis with a supporting creative project in the MA.

GRADUATE PROGRAM IN DIGITAL FUTURES

The Graduate Diploma in Digital Futures is available as a one-year full-time or a two-year part-time program. 

Both diploma programs are comprised of:

  • Core courses in digital methods, practices, computation, business creation, innovation and leadership
  • Directed digital practice-based research and creation
  • Elective choices

Candidates for the Graduate Diploma in Digital Futures may be practicing designers and working professionals in fields such as IT, media and communications, entertainment and the cultural industries who wish to augment their skills and knowledge in order to play leadership roles within industry and organizations. Graduates of the program will be well equipped to take on leadership, management, entrepreneurial and socially responsible roles at local and global levels in design and technology, IT, ICT, in the media and communications industries, the entertainment industry, and other cultural industries and organizations.


ELECTIVES

An important part of all Digital Futures programs is the selection of electives offered. These cutting-edge courses cover theory and practice in science, design, art and enterprise. Each year, a selection of elective courses is offered with new courses created in response to trends and events. 

Some examples include:

  • Creative techniques (elective for Diploma students)
  • Digital Theory (elective for Diploma students)
  • Information Visualization
  • Mobile and Social Media
  • Digital Games I & II
  • Affect and Emotion in Practice
  • eGlobal
  • Ubiquitous Computing
  • Body Centric Technologies (new for 2013/14)
  • Bioarticulation (new for 2013/14)
  • Serious Games (new for 2013/14)

Eligibility

Students entering the program will have strong disciplinary expertise in an area of media art, design, engineering, computer science, technology and/or the social sciences, as demonstrated by an undergraduate degree and ideally several years of relevant work experience. Students will declare their intention to pursue the Master of Design (MDes), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), or the Master of Arts (MA) at the time of application.

The program is open to designers, artists, marketing, media and cultural industry participants, entrepreneurs, technologists, educators, social scientists, scientists and engineers. This diversity drives peer learning, collaboration and group working across numerous parts of the program.

How To Apply

MASTER'S IN DIGITAL FUTURES

Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, BComm, BSc, BEng or comparable honours degree/certification with an average of 75 per cent (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate impressive experience and expertise as a practitioner in a relevant discipline. All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a good level, as well as the clear potential for acquiring a practical knowledge in the diverse disciplines relevant to this graduate program to create an innovative and implementable thesis project.

In exceptional circumstances, late applications may be considered, and evaluated in the order in which they are received, until all places are filled.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements, applicants need to complete and submit the following:

  • Letter of Intent: Applicants should explain their personal philosophy and reasons for applying to this program and refer to any relevant experience, background and future ambitions. The letter must be typed and be 600 to 800 words in length.
  • Research Outline: Applicants must provide an initial proposal for a research project that they are interested in pursuing in the program. This should include: (1) a title, (2) the area of interest and/or idea, (3) the rationale for the research, (4) expected outcome in terms of innovation and realized creative work, (5) the relevance of the applicant’s background and experience, (6) any reference sources used in the proposal and (7) bibliography of relevant sources. The proposal must be typed and should be 800 to 1,000 words in length.
  • Samples of Work: Applicants must submit samples of relevant student and/or professional work produced in the last five years. Visual work, analysis reports and proposal documents may be included. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of their primary area of interest.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview. The interview is an ideal opportunity for the candidate to meet with faculty, ask questions about the program and visit studio facilities and labs at OCAD U. Alternate arrangements will be made for applicants who are unable to attend the interview in person.

Note: admission to the degree program is contingent upon the availability of an appropriate Principal Advisor in the student’s declared area of research interest.


GRADUATE DIPLOMA IN DIGITAL FUTURES

Application for admission into the Graduate Diploma in Digital Futures is competitive. Applicants must hold a BA, BFA, BDes, BComm, BSc, BEng or comparable honours degree/certification with an average of 75 per cent (B+) or better during the last two years of study, or must demonstrate exceptional experience and expertise as a professional or practitioner in a relevant discipline. All applicants must demonstrate creative and conceptual competence at a good level, as well as the clear potential for acquiring a practical knowledge in the diverse disciplines relevant to this Graduate Diploma to create an innovative and implementable project or prototype at the graduate level.

In exceptional circumstances, late applications may be considered, and evaluated in the order in which they are received, until all places are filled.

For consideration by the admissions committee, and in addition to the basic application requirements, applicants need to complete and submit the following:

  • Letter of Intent: Applicants to the Graduate Diploma must demonstrate their reasons and plans to pursue part-time or full-time studies with a high level of commitment for combining their industrial, business, professional or practice-based work in their academic program. The letter must be typed and be 600 to 800 words in length.
  • Samples of Work: Applicants must submit samples of relevant student and/or professional work produced in the last five years. Visual work, analysis reports and proposal documents, may be included. Applicants are expected to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of their primary area of interest.
  • CV: Applicants should include an updated copy of their curriculum vitae.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. Alternate arrangements will be made for applicants who are unable to attend the interview in person.

Alumni

Recent alumni from the Graduate Program in Digital Futures at OCAD University include the following:


2012 Graduates

2013 Graduates